CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carl Edwards dismissed a rumor Wednesday that he will join Penske Racing next season.
Edwards brought the rumor up unprompted during a national teleconference in an effort to silence the discussion. He is in the first year of a new contract with Roush Fenway Racing, but there has been speculation he is trying to negotiate an out to take the opening at Penske.
“There’s been a lot of talk about me driving the 22 car, that’s impossible,” Edwards said. “First of all, I haven’t discussed that with anyone ever. And, (number) two, I am contracted to drive the 99 car.”
Edwards said he felt he should address the rumor because sponsors have heard the talk and have asked the driver his plans.
Edwards went through lengthy contract negotiations last season with Roush and decided in August to stay with the No. 99 team. He ended the year tied with Tony Stewart in the championship race, but lost the title on a tiebreaker.
This season has been a struggle. He’s winless and in danger of not even qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. That is apparently fueled the speculation that he’s got a performance clause in his Roush contract that would permit him to leave the organization.
With Penske Racing switching to Ford next season — Edwards is a centerpiece of Ford’s marketing campaign — it’s made sense that there could be interest in the No. 22 seat that opened when AJ Allmendinger was released after a failed drug test.
But, it’s believed team owner Roger Penske is close to announcing a deal with Joey Logano. Penske said Saturday at Bristol that Logano is a candidate for the ride, and J.D. Gibbs admitted Logano is looking at other opportunities outside of Joe Gibbs Racing.